Zaku I

Zaku1.jpg

The MS-05A Zaku I was the first successful mobile suit (MS) design to be developed by the Zeonic Company in the Principality of Zeon’s quest to develop a combat-capable mobile weapon that used the AMBAC System and the revolutionary Minovsky fusion reactor.

Technology & Combat Characteristics

The Zaku I was the world’s first nuclear-powered MS to achieve combat status in the UC timeline. Developed from the Zaku I was developed from the MS-04 Prototype Zaku, and featured technologies that would become standard in all mobile suits. The MS-05A ran a thermonuclear reactor developed and manufactured by the ZAS company that provided the Zaku I with an unlimited power source. The reactor was cooled by stored liquid hydrogen during missions in space, and an air-cooled system when operating on Earth. The Zaku I used the head-mounted Mono-Eye camera system, which was used in conjunction with several cameras mounted around the mobile suit’s body and granted the pilot excellent visibility from the enclosed cockpit. The Zaku I also incorporated laser sensors, infra-red sensors, and a powerful computer to facilitate the MS’ operation.

Armaments

280mm Zaku bazooka

The 280mm Zaku Bazooka was another standard weapon that could be equipped to a Zaku type mobile suit. The bazooka fired explosive rounds that were quite effective against the armor of Earth Federation battleships. However the bazooka could only be loaded with a single round at a time, thus it had to be used carefully. The bazooka was front loaded which is difficult to do while a mobile suit is changing vectors. The bazooka could be stored on the rear waist armor while spare ammunition could be stored on the side hip armor.

105mm Machine Gun

The 105mm machine gun is a standard weapon for Zaku type mobile suits. It is a shell firing gun that does not require energy to be used, however its effectiveness against heavy armor is very little. This model used a 100-round drum magazine.

Heat Hawk

An early type of melee weapon developed by Zeon based on the concept of superheating a metal blade to create a weapon that could melt armor as it cut, thus increasing its overall effectiveness. The Heat Hawk is shaped like an axe and is stored on the rear waist armor.

Shotgun

Work like the normal shell-firing shotgun. Really packs a punch in close range.

Twin 280mm Zaku Bazooka

A weapon where two H&L-SB25K A-P 280mm Bazookas have been combined into a single weapon, allowing for higher offensive power. The twin bazookas fired explosive rounds that were quite effective against the armor of Earth Federation mobile suits and battleships.

History

The Zaku I was first designed and built in U.C. 0074 as the YMS-05, with the design being selected for Zeon’s “SUIT Project”, and tested against the EMS-04 Zudah for a development contract. It wasn’t put into mass-production until later the following year, as the MS-05B Zaku I. The last production run of the MS-05B was in U.C. 0077, before it was replaced by the newer MS-06 Zaku II unit. Only 27 Zaku I Early Type units were produced. While the Zaku I series was no longer being mass-produced, it was not difficult to obtain one. Most Zaku I’s were assigned to pilots that requested them, or to newly formed squadrons that were unable to obtain the best equipment available. More would be assigned to the Midnight Fenrir Corp teams.

The successful use of these suits prompted the Zeon Navy to commission ships that could carry them into combat, primarily the Musai-Class Light Cruiser. The Zaku I was rendered obsolete by the Zaku II before the beginning of the One Year War, and thus they were relegated for use in the rear lines as supply and construction suits.

Zaku I

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